Why I travel

BalaclavaPark_MaiaKumariGilman_624

 

Why I travel

 

Because I am human, and I inhabit a physical body, my experience of the sacred is automatically spatial. My experience of the spirit translates easily into the architectures of faith. I explore this. I travel.

Because I am human, and because I engage my physical senses at every moment, my understanding of the spiritual is, by nature, a physical one, tested against what I see, hear, breathe, taste, touch, love and feel. Should one or more of these senses be deprived in any moment, the others compensate in an extraordinary pulsation of experience.

Because I am human, and what I primarily know is the physical, my understanding of the spiritual is often relegated to a classification of physical experiences.

The body perceives the understanding of the spirit, thereby making my understanding of spirit a physical one.

Reverse this order.

Know the spirit as the vehicle, the vessel, in which the body is held, delicately, in its form.

What does this change in my understanding?

That the sacred transcends the physical, is not limited by the immediate perceptions of the body.

That because the sacred is all, and the body is contained within in, that the body alone is not sacred, but that everything is.

This knowing is illuminated through travel, and its expansion of the senses.

This is why I travel.

 

-Maia

www.maiakumarigilman.com

excerpt from the soon-to-be-released book:

Duct Tape for Kali: a book of travel poems by Maia Kumari Gilman

 

Venice, Sea Change

VeniceFromCampanile_MaiaKumariGilmanWhen I pulled the “freehand sketches” card from my editorial calendar inspiration bin, my first thought was to share this quick sketch of Venice, Italy. I drew this on vacation, and was intrigued by the peaks and valleys of the Venetian cityscape, as seen from the top of the Campanile.

To tie this into the blog’s theme of environmental change, I composed a list of all those aspects of Venice I think we can learn from, around the world, as so many other coastlines face their own sea change. Granted, the causes of Venice’s sea change are unique. It’s on a leading edge of its own.

On tourism:

  • a tourist economy is key to an evolving waterfront
  • there is tourist interest in the changing intertidal/urban interface
  • temporary accommodations like hotels and hostels provide a continual opportunity for visitors and funds to flow into a place.

On transportation:

  • understanding marine transportation for an urban environment without cars is helpful and so is planning for the public infrastructure around it
  • a mix of private and public investment in transportation infrastructure allows for a variety of access and experience in a place
  • planning ahead can reduce frustrations and losses and lead to a smoother experience for businesses, institutions and residents.

On infrastructure:

  • movable walkways are helpful
  • drainage is manipulable and has plasticity
  • regular maintenance, repair and replacement of below-water foundations are part of the life cycle planning of a waterfront in flux.

On the long term:

  • it’s ok to let some parts go
  • long term vision to moving inland, or upward, or over water to new land, is always an opportunity on the horizon and for those who want to do so, those channels for change exist
  • there is not a one-size fits all solution to resolve issues around water level rise, and building subsidence.

What else would you add?

-Maia

maiakumarigilman.com